Rosberg X Racing made the perfect start to their title defence by running out winners in Extreme E’s Desert X-Prix.
With the second season of the all-electric motorsport getting underway after just a couple of months after the curtain was drawn on Extreme E’s inaugural campaign, the teams were once again battling for points, places and podiums.
Although there were new teams and new drivers on the grid for the opening round, the end result was a carbon copy of last year’s opening round, with Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky and Johan Kristoffersson once again mastering the sand and claiming the first win of the season.
Rosberg X Racing also picked up a bonus five points for claiming the fastest time in the Continental Traction Challenge, to give them a healthy lead heading into the next round.
As always with Extreme E, there was plenty of action and the Final was interrupted by a red flag following a huge accident for McLaren XE’s Tanner Foust, who in a bid for third place clipped the back of RXR’s Åhlin-Kottulinsky and rolled his ODYSSEY 21 on the opening lap.
It wasn’t the best start to life in Extreme E for the newest team, but there is still lots of racing to be done this season, which consists of four more rounds of racing running up until November.
Once the race resumed, RXR did enough to hold onto their lead, pipping Acciona | Sainz XE Team, X44 and Chip Ganassi Racing to the post in the four-car shootout.
Johan Kristoffersson, RXR, said: “Every time we go for a race, we have the aim to win, but the competition is so high this year, especially with McLaren coming in, which raises the bar even higher. We learned quite a lot last year, but now things are even tighter we’ll have to work even harder. I’m just very happy to start off the season with maximum points.
“It was a bit tricky, the track rutted up quite deep, and neither me nor Mikaela have a lot of experience in the desert, but we worked hard and the team has done a fantastic job with analysing the course and analysing the other drivers. We worked to adapt and it was a good weekend.”